ECA Launches ‘Healthy Use Of Technology Guide’ For children aged 0-8 Years

19 August 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE: As part of its “Takween” Summer Program, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) announced the launch of ‘Healthy Use of Technology Guide for Children from 0-8’. The move comes within ECA’s ongoing efforts to build an integrated early childhood system in Abu Dhabi, strengthen the child protection system from prevention to rehabilitation, provide the needed services and resources for parents, children and caregivers to ensure holistic development of their children, and enhance the role of social responsibility in supporting children.

ECA emphasized that launching ‘Healthy Use of Technology Guide’ for children came to be as a useful reference for parents and caregivers, helping them organize their children’s exposure to screens, avoid harmful effects of excessive levels of screen exposure, and keep up with stages of children’s growth and relevant increased risks. The guide advises parents to be aware of how risks increase as their child gets older and becomes more capable of using devices, and to utilize technology in ensuring their child’s development and well-being.

With 99% of the UAE population being active on social media alone, ECA affirmed the importance of ‘Healthy Use of Technology Guide’ in directing parents and caregivers towards developing good digital habits by providing local and international resources, allowing them to fulfill their responsibility in keeping children safe. According to ECA, ensuring children’s safety while using digital devices, especially in light of the great advancement and widespread of technology, has become a critical issue and a shared responsibility.

To reinforce its advice, the guide contains recommendations from experts in global entities, such as The World Health Organization (WHO), The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The Australian Department of Health to. One of the most important recommendations is to prevent screen time for children younger than 2 years, eliminate screen time for children 2-5 years old per day for no more than 60 minutes and for children 5-8 years old for no more than 120 minutes.

The ‘Healthy Use of Technology Guide’ further features key terms, things to remember by parents, checklists, links to resources and how to report cases of abuse. In addition to assisting parents to know the most important online websites and platforms used by children, such as online games and live streaming sites, to assess their suitability with children age, the guide highlights the importance of parental controls in protecting children’s safety while performing various online activities.

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